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Administration of Grants and Contracts in Support of Sponsored Programs Policy

Administration of Grants and Contracts in Support of Sponsored Programs Policy

Reviewed By: Administrative Council on
Approved By: Albert K. Karnig, President on
Reviewed By: Administrative Council on
Approved By: Tomás D Morales, President on

For interpretation of this policy, please contact: Office of Academic Research, (909) 537-3064

This administrative policy implements the requirements of CSU ICSUAM 11000, and incorporates or supersedes all prior CSUSB policies.  It applies to all sponsored programs applied for, awarded to, and/or administered by California State University, San Bernardino, and its auxiliary, The University Enterprises Corporation for California State University, San Bernardino.

Section 1. Definitions

1.1  "Auxiliary"  means an organization which is (a) included in the list of auxiliary organizations in good standing maintained by the Chancellor pursuant to 5 CCR §42406, and/or (b) which is an organization specified in Education Code Section 89900, which is any organization using the name of the State or a campus, or representing an official relationship with a campus, or in which any campus official participates as a director as part of his official position. (5 CCR 42400, Definition)

1.2  "Contract" means an agreement between the University or Auxiliary and a Sponsor to provide an economic benefit, generally in the form of services, for compensation. The agreement is binding and creates a quid pro quo relationship between the parties.

1.3  "Grant" means a financial contribution to a Recipient to carry out an approved project or activity. A Grant generally anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement of the Sponsor with the Recipient during performance of the project or activity, but Sponsors usually request an accounting of the use of funds and of result of  the project or activity. The  University or Auxiliary may commit resources or services as a condition of the Grant.

1.4  "Principal Investigator"  means the individual (whether referred to in the Contract or Grant as a Principal Investigator, Project Director or other similar term) designated by the Sponsored Program Administrator to be responsible for ensuring compliance with the academic, scientific, technical, financial and administrative aspects and for day-to-day management of the Sponsored Program.

1.5  "Recipient" means the University or Auxiliary awarded a Contract or Grant. The Recipient is the University or Auxiliary, as the case may be, even if a particular component is designated in the award document, and shall not be an individual, department or other constituent unit.

1.6  "Sponsor"  means the party paying for the services or other economic benefit under a Contract or providing the financial contribution for a project or activity under a Grant.

1.7  "Sponsored Program(s)"means all work performed under Grants or Contracts funded by non- CSU funding sources (including non-CS U- funded Contracts and Grants that are subsequently subcontracted to another campus).

1.8  "Sponsored Program(s) Administrator"  means the entity (University or Auxiliary) designated by the Recipient to administer the Sponsored Program.

1.9  "Sponsored Program Records" include, but are not limited to, accepted proposals and applications; Contracts or Grant agreements; program reports and data; correspondence; budgets and supporting financial documentation; supporting human resources documentation; and other records relating to receipt, review, award, evaluation, status and monitoring of the Sponsored Program.

1.10  "Sponsored Program Work Product" means any work created in the performance of a Sponsored Program. Unless the Contract or Grant states otherwise, Sponsored Program Work product does not include journal articles, lectures, images, books or other works that are subject to copyright protection and have been created through independent academic effort and based on the findings of the Sponsored Program.

1.11  "University" means one of the campuses of the California State University or the Office of the Chancellor.

Section 2. General.

Sponsored program activity is defined as research, public service, and educationally related grant or contract projects, whether solicited or unsolicited, which are either submitted to or received from federal, state, municipal, or county agencies; public or private corporations; and private foundations or individuals.  When such proposals or awards provide funding administered by the university or its auxiliaries, use of University name, facilities, or personnel, or endorsement by the University, approval as herein described is required.

2.1. Presidential Responsibility.

ICSUAM 11000 directs the President to require that the University and the Auxiliary operate in conformity with applicable law and the policies of the CSU and the campus when proposing and administering Sponsored Programs, and to ensure coordination between organizationally separate units and individuals on the campus by identifying each campus official responsible for implementing specific areas of Sponsored Programs policy.

2.2. Written Policy.

This policy on the management of Sponsored Programs incorporates the components outlined in ICSUAM 11000 and that is consistent with policies relating to risk management, environmental health and safety, conflicts of interest, research misconduct, and other applicable CSU and campus policies.  In the event that a given Contract or Grant contains terms and conditions that are not in conflict with but are more restrictive than those provided in the campus policy, the more restrictive terms and conditions of the Contract or Grant shall prevail.

3.0. Preparation of Grant and Contract Proposals


Prior to the preparation of a formal grant or contract proposal, prospective project directors/principal investigators must consult with or advise their department chairs or immediate supervisor about the proposal and the impact it may have on the department or area.   They should discuss possible budget or cost-sharing considerations with department chairs or equivalent unit and, if necessary, with the college dean or appropriate area administrator.  Chairs or supervisors should in turn consult on these issues with the school deans or equivalent administrator.  Either the grant and contract proposals or companion internal review documentation should specify, where appropriate, the following:

  • The amount of reimbursed time for faculty members at their current rank and step, plus benefits.  (See:  Policy and Procedures for the Reimbursement of Faculty Release Time.)
  • The amount of additional employment for faculty.  (See: Guidelines and Procedures on University-Compensated Faculty Additional Employment.)

3.1. Proposal Submission, Review, and Approval

3.1.1. Pre-Award Review and Approval of Proposal Submission. 

Proposals for Sponsored Programs may not be submitted without prior written approval of the president of the University or the president's University designee, and of the chief financial officer of the University or the chief financial officer's University designee.

Grant and contract proposals must be reviewed by the project director's/principal investigator's department chair or organizational unit director, as appropriate.   Reviewers shall assess the following: 

  1. compatibility with the department's staffing requirements;
  2. compatibility with departmental programs;
  3. acceptability of departmental support commitments.

Grant and contract proposals shall have appropriate college dean or comparable organizational unit review and recommendation based upon compatibility with existing and/or anticipated school interests and activities.

College deans or other divisional unit administrators shall forward all grant and contract proposals to the Sponsored Programs Office in a timely fashion, for full review and clearance as directed by this policy.

The Sponsored Programs Office is responsible for ensuring that all required and appropriate project clearances and signatures are obtained from other organizational units as required by this policy.

3.1.2. Pre-Acceptance of Awards. 

Awards of Contracts or Grants will not be accepted without prior written approval by appropriate officials of the University and Auxiliary responsible for the following areas, if applicable: 

  1. academic/programmatic;
  2. fiscal;
  3. health and safety;
  4. human and animal subject research;
  5. space;
  6. major technical resources and equipment; and
  7. risk management.

3.1.3. Notice.

It is the responsibility of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to notify and inform to all personnel responsible for the preparation of proposals and applications for Sponsored Programs that, if awarded, the Recipient of the Contract or Grant is to be the University or Auxiliary and not an individual, department, or other constituent unit.

3.1.4. Amendment of Contract or Grant. 

Substantive amendments to a Contract or Grant involving significant changes in overall budget, nature of activities, personnel, and deliverables, must be reviewed and approved by the Sponsored Programs Administrator (University or University Enterprises Corporation), as well as the dean/area head of the unit(s) involved.

3.2. Performance of Grants and Contracts

3.2.1. Administration of Sponsored Programs. 

Prior to acceptance, either the University or the University Enterprises Corporation must be designated to administer the Contract or Grant as the formal Sponsored Program Administrator.  The Sponsored Program Administrator is legally responsible and accountable to the Sponsor for the use of the funds provided and the performance of the Sponsored Program.

Upon the award and acceptance of a grant or contract, the Project Director or Principal Investigator, in close coordination with the University Enterprises Corporation Office and the appropriate School Dean's office or comparable organizational unit, assumes the responsibility of managing the project. Specific responsibilities are:

Project Director/Principal Investigator Responsibilities.  The project director/principal investigator has the primary responsibility to ensure appropriate management of the project and accomplishment of programmatic objectives.  Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Overall responsibility to ensure that either the research or programmatic commitments are accomplished.
  2. Authorizing all expenditures and maintaining appropriate expenditure controls.
  3. Maintaining up-to-date records of financial obligations and expenditures.
  4. Reporting financial activity to the University or University Enterprises Corporation on a timely basis.
  5. Monitoring University or University Enterprises Corporation reports for accuracy and informing them when discrepancies occur.
  6. Ensuring proper supervision of project employees.
  7. Adhering to project schedule.

Sponsored Programs Administrator (University or University Enterprises Corporation) Responsibilities.  The Sponsored Programs Administrator is legally and financially responsible for compliance with, and fulfillment of, all contracts it enters into on behalf of CSUSB.  The University or University Enterprises Corporation is obligated to operate within the rules and regulations of the CSU Board of Trustees and the CSU Chancellor's Office.  It must also be in compliance with all governing federal and state laws.  As a formal recipient of university grants and contracts, the University Enterprises Corporation has primary responsibility to provide overall fiscal management, and it is obligated to ensure that all institutional parties to the project are in full compliance with University Enterprises Corporation, university, and governmental policies and regulations.  Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Acting as management liaison between the project director/principal investigator and the contracting agencies to ensure that the research or project is fully funded and can proceed.
  2. Informing project directors/principal investigators of all pertinent ruling policies and regulations governing the foundation and the university, as well as the individual contracts, and ensuring compliance with them.
  3. Assisting with budget implementation, contract interpretation, and providing follow up in resolving discrepancies.
  4. Providing human resources personnel and payroll functions and serving as employer of record for all grant and contract employees.
  5. Providing purchasing support and advice on obtaining equipment, supplies and services.
  6. Maintaining records of equipment purchased with grants or contract funds.
  7. Monitoring account expenditures and providing assistance in maintaining budget controls.
  8. Filing required fiscal reports on a timely basis with state, federal, and other agencies; monitoring the project director's filing of technical reports required by the granting agency.

College Dean or Divisional Administrator Responsibilities.  The appropriate college dean or equivalent divisional unit administrator is responsible for supporting and ensuring program and personnel commitments within a reviewed and approved sponsored program.  Specific responsibilities include:

  1. Ensuring that the project director/principal investigator has institutional support and resources appropriate to the commitments made by the university in accepting the grant or contract award.
  2. Ensuring that the Project Director/Principal Investigator delivers the product or services specified in the grant or contract.
  3. Exercising administrative oversight to ensure that university policies regarding grants and contracts are followed.
  4. With the cooperation of the project director/principal investigator and the Sponsored Programs Administrator, maintaining oversight of workload and assigned time commitments of project faculty/principal investigator, ensuring the effective transfer of funds for release reimbursement, and ensuring compliance with university personnel policies.
  5. Reviewing and authorizing all direct reimbursements and travel expenditures to the project directors/principal investigators to ensure compliance with appropriate regulations.
  6. Monitoring Sponsored Programs Administrator reports for accuracy and informing them when discrepancies occur.

3.2.2. Agreement Between University and University Enterprises Corporation for Administration. 

The University and the University Enterprises Corporation shall enter into an agreement setting forth the rights and responsibilities of each party with regard to the administration of Sponsored Programs by an Auxiliary.  The Auxiliary shall agree, among other things, to:

  1. Indemnify, defend, and save harmless the University from all loss, damage or liability that may be suffered or incurred by the University caused by, arising out of, or in any way connected with the administration of Sponsored Programs by the Auxiliary; and
  2. Carry adequate insurance in accordance with CSU policy (See Executive Order 1069, CSU Policy #7865355, and RM 2012-01, as amended from time to time).

3.2.3. Implementation Plan.

The Sponsored Program Administrator, with the support and assistance of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, will prepare an implementation plan for each Contract or Grant that will include, but not be limited to, the following, if not already specified in the Contract or Grant or master agreement.

  1. Identification of the Principal Investigator and staffing needs for the Project;
  2. Identification of the funds and resources available, the projected budget, schedule and other fiscal administrative requirements.
  3. Identification of the person or entity responsible for security, ownership, custody, and retention of the Sponsored Program Work Product and Records after completion of the Sponsored Program.

3.3. Human Resources Policy

3.3.1. Principal Investigator(s). 

The qualifications of a Principal Investigator or Project Director shall include the following:

  1. Full time permanent employment by the University, or
  2. Full time employment by Auxiliary

Any exceptions to 3.3.1 a or b will require prior approval of the appropriate administrator and Associate Provost for Research

Principal Investigator Resignation, Incapacitation, Failure or Refusal to Perform Duties Adequately.

  1. Resignation or Incapacitation.  On notice of resignation or incapacitation of a principal investigator or project director, the Sponsored Programs Administrator and the College Dean or equivalent area administrator will confer with the sponsor and select an appropriate replacement.
  2. Failure or Refusal to Perform Duties Adequately.  The Sponsored Programs Administrator, the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the College Dean or equivalent area administrator will review complaints or information involving failure to perform or refusal to perform the duties of principal investigator or project director with dispatch.  Where such review finds probable cause for immediate action, the Sponsored Programs Administrator, as employer of record for the work to be performed, may suspend or replace the principal investigator or project director.

3.3.2. Employer. 

The Sponsored Program Administrator is the employer of the Principal Investigator and other employees with regard to work performed in furtherance of each Sponsored Program.  The Sponsored Program Administrator is responsible for the assignment, evaluation, and termination of Sponsored Program employees and for other employer obligations associated with the performance and payment under the Sponsored Program, all in accordance with campus policy for administration of Contracts and Grants.  This applies regardless of whether the employee is being paid directly by the University or Auxiliary or whether the University is being reimbursed by the Auxiliary for agreeing to release an employee from selected University duties in order to work on the Contract or Grant.

3.3.3. Additional Employment.

All Sponsored Program employment by University employees falls under the University Policy Guidelines and Procedures on University-Compensated Faculty Additional Employment (FAM 603.4) which establishes the limits and procedures for review of all university additional employment in compliance with the CSU Additional Employment Policy.

3.3.4. Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities.

California State University, San Bernardino has established a policy and procedures for processing complaints of research misconduct or other employee misconduct in connection with Sponsored Programs.  Employees working on Sponsored Programs who are also CSU or UEC employees shall be subject to consequences for unprofessional behavior, failure or refusal to perform duties adequately, or other misconduct within the administration of the Sponsored Program and remain subject to the University's discipline system.

All employees or individuals associated with CSUSB are required to report observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct including, but not limited to plagiarism, falsification and fabrication of data, misuse of funds and equipment, violation of IRB and IACUC protocols to Associate Provost for Research.

3.3.5. Conflict of Interest. 

California State University, San Bernardino has established a policy and procedures that complies with conflict of interest requirements of the law and applicable CSU, Sponsored Program Administrator and Sponsor policies.  All appropriate project staff are required to complete and sign the appropriate disclosure documents provided by the Sponsored Programs Administrator.  Individuals failing to complete such documents may not be employed on any University or Auxiliary grant or contract.

3.3.6. Nepotism. 

All CSUSB Sponsored Programs fall under and shall be regulated by the University Policy on Nepotism (FAM 607). 

3.4. Academic Policy

3.4.1. Conduct of Research.

The appropriate college dean or area administrator (Section 3.2.1 above) is responsible for assisting the Sponsored Program Administrator by providing oversight of the conduct of research and ensuring progress toward fulfillment of the Contract or Grant requirements.

3.4.2. Human Subject Research.

The University Policy Concerning Research Involving Human Subjects (FAM 845.72) establishes the campus Institutional Review Board and confirms its authority over such research.  The university maintains a Federal-Wide Assurance approved by the NIH Office of Human Research Protection.  The Chair of the IRB and the Director of Research and Sponsored Programs are designated by the university president as responsible for the implementation of OHRP requirements for proper human subjects review and training.

3.4.3. Animal Subject Research.

The  Constitutional Animal Care and Use Committee (FAM 806.43) establishes procedures and policies for the ordering, housing, care and use of live non-human vertebrate animals in Sponsored Program research, in instruction and research by employees of the University or Auxiliary in the regular course of their employment, in research by students in satisfaction of University requirements, and in research or instruction using any University property or facility.  The university policy establishes the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, appointed by the president or designee, to ensure adequate review of animal facilities, procedures, and research and teaching protocols, and the University is responsible for ensuring that these protocols are followed.

The university is responsible for ensuring that the policy shall be consistent with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, Commission on Life Sciences, National Research Council), requirements of the United States Department of Agriculture and regulations implementing the Animal Welfare Act as amended, other applicable laws and regulations, and, as appropriate, provisions of the United States Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

3.5. Fiscal Administration

The university is responsible to ensure sound fiscal management of Sponsored Programs, regardless of whether the University or Auxiliary is responsible for Sponsored Program administration.  It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator and the Sponsored Program Administrator to adhere to the fiscal terms and conditions of the Contract or Grant and to comply with University and Auxiliary policies and procedures as specified in Section 3.2 above.

3.5.1. Budgets and Disbursements.

The Sponsored Program Administrator shall be responsible for final certification of project budgets and budget change review procedures.  The Principal Investigator for a Contract or Grant shall be responsible for executing the project in conformance with the approved budget.

The Sponsored Programs Administrator is responsible for ensuring that disbursements are not processed on any account unless both parties have executed a Contract or unless all approvals have been obtained and the Grant has been accepted.  In cases when the Sponsor allows the institution to incur pre-award costs, and the Sponsored Program Administrator shall have a policy in place to allow pre-award spending, then disbursements may be made prior to receipt of the award document, in accordance with the Sponsor and Sponsored Program Administrator guidelines.

3.5.2. Accounting Management Requirements for Sponsored Programs at CSUSB. 

The Sponsored Programs Administrator is responsible for the timely establishment of accounts in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contract or Grant.

The Sponsored Programs Administrator is responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures are in place to define and document approval authority; maintain proper accounting and control of all cash receipts from Contract or Grant billings; review and approve all expenditures for compliance with the Contract or Grant; and ensure completion of accurate and timely reporting for each Contract or Grant.

The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring that all expenditures are made in compliance with the approved budget, the Contract or Grant and the Sponsored Program Administrator's policies.

The Sponsored Program Administrator's chief financial officer or appropriate designee must authorize payments involving personal expenditures by the Principal Investigator.

The Sponsored Program Administrator must certify that funding is available prior to issuance of any personnel action forms.

3.5.3. Fiscal Reporting. 

The Sponsored Program Administrator is responsible for ensuring that all fiscal reports (including final reports) and billings are prepared and submitted, on a timely basis, to Sponsors in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Contract or Grant.

3.5.4. Cost Recovery.  

All appropriate indirect costs/facilities and administrative costs shall be recovered for all Sponsored Programs in accordance with CSU Policy, University and Auxiliary Policies, and/or other funding agency requirements.

3.5.5. Costing Sharing.  

In some cases, the University may share or match costs associated with a Sponsored Program instead of recovering indirect and direct costs.  When there is cost sharing or matching in connection with a Sponsored Program, the Sponsored Program Administrator, in conjunction with the Principal Investigator, must document actual costs shared or matching contributions in a manner consistent with the campus cost allocation plans, Sponsor requirements, and, in the case of federal Contracts or Grants requirements, as stated in OMB Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.

3.6. Sponsored Program Work Product and Records.

3.6.1. Work Product and Records Policy.  

Sponsored Programs Administrator procedures for dealing with Sponsored Program Work Products and Sponsored Program Records must be compatible with University (FAM 500.8) and CSU policy pertaining to intellectual property.  Any Contract or Grant that provides for ownership or license of Work Product or Sponsored Program Records to any person or entity other than the University, shall provide the University with a free-of-cost, nonexclusive license to use the Sponsored Program Work Product and the right to access and use the Sponsored Program Records for purposes consistent with the educational mission of the University.

3.6.2. Records Retention. 

Retention of Sponsored Program Records refers to the storage, preservation, or disposal of records once the Sponsored Program is complete.  The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the Sponsored Programs Administrators are required to comply with applicable law and University and Auxiliary policy, and shall establish a schedule that specifies

  1. the period of time to retain Sponsored Program records after the Sponsored Program has been completed;
  2. disposal of records no longer needed;
  3. the preservation of records of historical value;
  4. procedures for complying with the Sponsor's record retention requirements; and
  5. safeguarding confidential records.